When the covid19 lockdown began staff at QMC were determined that learning would continue. Teachers soon adapted to enable the 2000 students to access timetabled lessons from home, and the College provided laptops to learners where necessary. Personal tutors continue to contact individuals to check on their progress and well-being, and a wealth of additional support is also available, including IT, financial support, the Library and Careers Service. Specialist staff are in regular contact with the most vulnerable students, all with the aim of ensuring that when lockdown ends QMC students will be well-placed to resume their lessons.
Through on-line learning teachers are able to communicate, post resources and prework, manage assignments, and mark and offer written or audio feedback. Students have appreciated the routine and structure that their lessons have provided, and have valued the sense of belonging that contact with teachers and their classmates has given them
Emma Ilsley formerly of Brighton Hill Community School and now in her first year studying English Language, French and Law at QMC said “The staff at QMC have greatly helped in assuring the smoothest transition to remote learning. My teachers have been very facilitating during this time, and I have felt able to approach them with any queries that I may have. Support has been given both within a 1-to-1 and group context, meaning that both subject-based and individual requirements can be addressed when needed. Students have been able to use materials from a selection of sources in order to complete classwork, which has been clearly set and marked on Google Classroom. I am able to keep track of my progress and view class targets, in order to continue aspiring for the high grades that I desire. Oxbridge university support materials have been emailed to me over the course of this period, meaning I can keep track with my future in Higher Education. I am very grateful to all of the staff members who are working conscientiously to ensure that our education remains on-track during this time!”
Teachers at QMC have also responded to the disruption for year 11 pupils by providing a webpage of resources, in preparation for starting college in September.
Anna Palmer, currently in Year 11 at Kennet School said “I was disappointed not to be able to sit my GCSE exams after working so hard towards them over so many years. But thinking about college and preparing for QMC has enabled me to set new targets - this has been very helpful during the lockdown period in planning how I restart my education.
The QMC website and resources accessible from home have been great in helping me to build my enthusiasm for the subjects I have chosen to study. I can’t wait to start at QMC, to meet new friends and to continue with my education.”
In spite of these challenging circumstances the College has launched two new courses; Childcare in Education and a brand new BTEC qualification in esports which will teach students how this growing industry works, equipping them with the knowledge, understanding and digital skills necessary to create business and branding opportunities.
In addition to continuing lessons as normal online, the College has plans to put in place a digital enrichment provision that enables all students to learn and grow from home. It aims to develop students both inside and outside of the classroom; students pursue activities that support their futures, community, health, and skills to facilitate their immediate growth and their longer term transition to University, Apprenticeships, and employment.
Speaking on the work of students and staff, Principal Ali Foss said: “I am immensely proud of the ways in which staff and students have adapted to this new normal. The College campus is usually a vibrant and happy environment, and it has been gratifying to see that this ethos has been maintained, albeit through our virtual communities.”